As the Minister of Public Safety Canada (PS), I commend your initiative to ensure Canadian students receive quality mental health training, as well as crime, fire, and accident prevention training.
For nearly four decades the founder of STEPS was an ambulance paramedic. That man was Jim Boyd. During his career, he witnessed the profound grief of many families who struggled with the loss of a young person from accidents and or illness. Having testified at many court hearings he also knew that colleagues in law enforcement and the justice system were frustrated in their
efforts to steer youth away from criminal pathways. He never stopped believing that much more could be done to guide young people.
On his retirement from EMS, he worked for nearly another decade with leading experts and professionals from many fields to develop a comprehensive training system to assure that every teenager would have a way to receive quality and evidence-based prevention education.
He said that "in today's world this knowledge is crucial to ensure the safety, security and good health of adolescents. We cannot assume that young people will get proper information, education, and training in these critically important areas".
He went on to say that "teenagers represent the highest risk age group in several categories like road, workplace and recreational accidents, unplanned pregnancies sexually transmitted infections, depressive disorders ( including substance abuse
induced mental illness), suicidal ideation, and more. We know that we must do more, better, to provide life safety and wellness education for all youth".
By the time a young person is old enough to enter the workforce, drive, drink alcohol, or enjoy the things that adults do, too many believe that they have mastered these things and have no need for improvement. Too often beginning drivers and workers bring poor habits with them behind the wheel or to the workplace. These habits, coupled with inexperience and lack of proper training can get them badly injured or killed.
While there are many other websites and sources of information available to teenagers, most focus on only one particular prevention issue. STEPS provides education in a few critical areas. Boyd said; "while we were developing STEPS we knew that most people do not believe they are at risk and therefore don't study prevention, preparedness, or safety information. These things are quite boring and cannot compete for any person's time on the internet. There is simply too much other interesting material competing for our attention. To make participation worthwhile for youth we knew that we had to offer teenagers the best deal anywhere. We had to reward participants".
We want to congratulate you on enrolling in STEPS.
We all care about you and want you to succeed with your life goals.
Teens who enroll in STEPS will benefit in multiple ways:
is gained through the most intensive and comprehensive health and safetytraining program of its kind.
to enroll in the STEPS Program. All costs are underwritten by our corporate sponsors. ALL teenagers are eligible. We encourage those who have quit school or may be incarcerated, or in a treatment facility as well as students attending high school to participate.
can be more easily guided in important safety areas by teenagers who havecompleted the STEPS Program.
will be given to youth who complete the program. This will help students to find part-time jobs while they continue their studies. The training certifications will also help to prepare them to enter the workforce safely. Young people want their independence and having a job is very important to them. Having a job will also serve to steer young people away from criminal pathways.
hours (needed for high school graduation) will be awarded for completion of STEPS.Please ask your teacher to include STEPS as your community project of choice.
can be difficult for young people for many reasons. It has been said that the most difficult time in a person's life is when they must choose a career path during adolescence. A section on our website is devoted to providing career information that students will like.
can be a wonderful experience for many young people. Many professionals begin their careers because of volunteering that they did in their youth. Our founder was one of these people. YOU too can realize your dream and we want to help you wherever you are in life.
are being arranged with corporate sponsors to give participants some cool free stuff!
s a wonderful way for youth to expand their social circles, develop new skills,gain work experience, and helps to foster an attitude of civic responsibility.